SHANGHAI, Jan. 29 -- EU tinplate producers are unlikely to increase production in the coming months if demand remains slow, market participants told Metal Bulletin. Producers reduced tinplate production by about 10% in 2009 in order to bring supply in line with demand, a trader told MB. EU tinplate prices remain stable at $1,200-1,250 per tonne delivered to domestic customers, unmoved from last October.
"I don't think production will increase any time soon. The capacity to make tinplate in Europe at the moment is just about enough to meet peak demand in the summer months," a trader said. All the major EU tinplate producers reduced output in 2008/2009, although Corus Packaging Plus postponed a restructuring programme for its Trostre works in the UK as demand in 2009 proved better than originally expected.
More recently Germany’s Rasselstein has reported a small recovery in sales. It has secured orders for 1.4 million tonnes of tinplate for the current fiscal year (October 2009-September 2010), a company spokesman told Steel Business Briefing. This is a slight increase on the 1.35 Mt delivered in 2008/09 but still lags behind the 1.5 Mt shipped in each of the two years before that. However plans to trim its payroll remain in place. Of 2,460 jobs, some 70 to 80 will be axed, mainly through early retirement and severance schemes.